CEO Friday Message
May 26, 2017
This weekend marks Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer. In preparation for writing my message today, I did a little research about Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor military men and women who have given their lives in protection of our country and our flag. One of the most interesting articles I read about Memorial Day was an OpEd from 2012 reprinted by Fox News today called Memorial Day 2017: As summer begins remember this beach.
There is a picture of a beach. The picture was taken in 1943 and later published in Life Magazine. It is the beach at Buna, Papua New Guinea, and it shows three dead American soldiers half buried in the sand. It was the first photo ever published of dead Americans. I can only imagine how shocked readers must have been. But why was it released? An editorial that accompanied the photo explained that “Words are never enough”.
That one four word phrase struck me so hard today. It is true that words are never enough. Words cannot explain the love a mother has for her babies. Words are never enough to explain the grief that the loss of a loved one causes. Words cannot possibly explain what it’s like to be poor, abused, abused, or experiencing a mental illness. Words can never help us understand what it’s like to be racked by addiction. If we haven’t experienced any of these issues, words will never be enough to help us understand.
I can’t take pictures of those who are grieving, poor, abused, abused, mentally ill or addicted to help anyone understand. Words will have to be enough. So, today, as we remember those three young men on that beach far from home, I urge all of us to use our words to advocate for those who are less fortunate, who are ill, who are in need. I urge all of us to try to understand others and what their life circumstances are and to offer them support, solace and peace. I urge all of us to remember what we’ve fought for throughout our history, and what as Americans we hold dear.